TV Hot List: Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 - Featured

* Top Chef Masters (10/9c Bravo)

The culinary contest turns on the heat as we start dipping into the last course. (The season finale airs next week.) All eyes are on the remaining four food fighters - Rick Bayless, Michael Chiarello, Hubert Keller and Anita Lo - when they whip up meals while blindfolded. Afterward, the chefs must cater a large event, but the challenge comes with a catch: They are forbidden to handle the food, and must instead tap into their teaching and leadership skills. Assisting them are erstwhile Top Chef contestants, including the fiery Dale Talde, who evidently gets into a dishin'-and-dissin' duel with Chiarello. - Dean Maurer

* The Philanthropist (10/9c NBC)

As Teddy Rist's first season of do-gooding comes to an end, the focus shifts to his best friend and business partner Philip (Jesse L. Martin) and we see the intense impact that helping others has when the situation hits close to home. The friends travel to Haiti, Philip's birthplace, to help with a food shortage, but find that their biggest obstacle is Philip's brother, island senator Jean Beauvais, who has a different take on helping one's own. There's nothing like sibling rivalry to put a hiccup into plans to do good...even to feed the hungry. - Rhoda Charles

* Criss Angel Mindfreak (10/9c NBC)

There's "buried alive"...and then there's buried alive! Criss Angel always takes it to the extreme, so guess which route he chooses. He goes that extra mile on his fifth-season opener in which he's, you guessed it, buried alive. But he's also shackled before he's placed in the coffin, and he's surrounded by ice and snow just to make things more interesting. Add to this the fact that his coffin is transparent, and it should be a revealing episode in many thrilling and chilling ways. - Bill Ecklund

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